Calcareous phytoplankton fossil. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a fossil of the skeleton (coccosphere) of a coccolithotrope, a small marine algal organism. The coccosphere consists of plates (coccoliths) of calcium carbonate. These skeletons can make up the major component of limestone rocks. This fossil was found in chalk in Rochester, Kent, UK, that was laid down in the Cretaceous period, between 142 and 65 million years ago. Magnification: x5700 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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